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William Hamilton Wall Art

William Hamilton (1751–1801) was born in Chelsea, London. He was an English illustrator and painter who was very well known for his paintings that depicted episodes from Shakespeare’s plays and for his illustrations of poems. He travelled and worked with Antonio Zucchi in Italy for several years. Hamilton trained first as an architectural draftsman, but then changed to theatrical portraits and scenes from plays. He was commissioned to create works for Robert Bowyer’s English History, John Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery, and Thomas Macklin’s Bible. These were reproduced widely in popular prints. A number of Hamilton’s best known works were engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi.

Hamilton also painted modern events. A good example is his painting of the execution of Marie Antoinette which he did in the manner of an epic historical drama. He also painted several battle scenes which he exhibited including Defence of the Breach at Jean d'Acre by Sir Sidney Smith and The destruction of the Spanish battery ships before Gibraltar in the night of the 13th of Sept. last (1783). Hamilton had a unique style that shows the influence of the cult of sentiment typical of the period. His works resembled those of Angelica Kauffman. He also sometime adopted the aspects of Fuseli’s dramatic distortions in figure drawing and composition. Hamilton became an associate member of the Royal Academy from 1784, and was made a full member in 1789. Some of his notable works include Vertumnus and Pomona, Isabella appealing to Angelo, The Wolves Descending from the Alps, Olivia's proposal, and The Duke of York discovering his son Aumerle's treachery.
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